Saturday, May 01, 2010

Fun Flights


Mary and I headed to the airport for a date night flight. We headed up to Wings field enjoying the view on our 25 minute trip vs. the one hour minimum in rush hour traffic below us. Yes, the Pennsylvania turnpike was backing up and the tolls were a mess but we had our destination in sight, weather noted and announcing our position to enter the traffic pattern. There was one Cessna that announced and Mary spotted it off at our two o'clock making a three sixty to enter number two behind us. I was on a three mile forty five for the left down wind runway two four. Base to final turn followed by a nice landing that required power to make our turn off.

It was fun catching up with our friends and enjoying the perfect wx as we sat out on the terrace. I enjoyed ice tea (designated flyer/driver) and Mary had a few martinis. The munchies were perfect and the conversations entertaining, as always. We decided to call it a night and head south, hoping to take advantage viewing a nice sunset. The heat of the day actually made for a hazy trip home as we watched the sun set. Philly was easy to work with as I was cleared through the Bravo airspace. We made a direct line back to Wilmington. I was directed to descend and maintain two thousand for traffic and complied also noting I had the wx at Wilmington. I was then turned loose to contact the tower. Strange thing at KILG, the beacon is so hard to see. I was only four miles out and heading for runway two seven as directed but could not see the beacon. The tower switched me to a right downwind for runway one, now number two to land behind a Cessna that he said would overtake us. I turned for final and made a poor landing. I replaced my landing light that had burned out with a new (I thought) brighter bulb, it wasn't. The runway lights were never brought up from the low intensity position but it is what it is, I should have asked for medium or high. I flared a bit early and felt the sink and had to add power since the sight picture out the side, where the landing light provided some illumination had me a few feet off the ground. The touch of power was enough to arrest the sink and I carried that down the runway a bit then skipped one in. We secured the plane and headed for home.


I was up bright and early wanting to do battle with the shrubs out front. (insert Tim Allen grunt) There I was clippers in hand, two extension chords and some wd-40 to lube up the weapon of choice. I attacked the small, now round, evergreens followed by the ball tree, bush, plant or whatever it's called and a few other shrubs that dared to defy me. It looked pretty good when I finished up, heck I was feeling rather Edward scissorhands...ish. The allergies started to kick so I called it a morning, besides I needed a shower. I woke Mary up and inquired as to what we were doing for breakfast, that got her attention and she quickly got moving. My sleepy princess, well, she likes to sleep in. We talked about maybe making a beach run for the day to Ocean City Maryland or heading south to KCGE Cambridge, MD for breakfast at Kay's but finally decided on our local stop Angels. Mary wanted to stay local and clean up the flower beds and I wanted to clean the plane and fly.

Following breakfast I called Vince and asked if he wanted to putz around with the plane and take it out for a late lunch to Cape May, he was ready to go. I washed the plane with the water I bottled and packed in the SUV. I completed my preflight and only had the headset plug to tinker with before we left. I decided to take the truck out to the parking lot where I found Vince and his Mom waiting, they said they were not there to long. The plug for the headset needs to be replaced, it will not hold the plug in and the static will drive one crazy, it's on the list to be fixed. Actually I want to relocate both front headset plugs to the lower panel on each side, the current position just bugs me, I don't like wires in the area of the flap handle.

We get the fan turning and I flip the switch for the cabin blower to circulate some air. Vince and I role play for his radio work. He had the ATIS noted and was ready to call ground. Vince did a great job, made contact, followed up with all of our info and what we wanted to do then copied the taxi clearance for our departure. We were soon climbing out from runway one four headed to Millville for a landing then head to Cape May. We were lined up nice for the left down wind for runway three two as Millville radio noted two eight was the preferred runway. I advised I would be landing full stop three two. One of my coworkers in Op's made the comment always the trouble maker, I laughed and advised, so I am told. As I entered the down wind I did notice two aircraft lined up at the hold short for two eight. I advised repositioning for left downwind two eight and will extend for their departure. The second plane also scooted out, I do play nice with other pilots. This was a full stop and taxi back for our hop to Cape May, KWWD.

We were on the go number two behind a Cherokee and left the area heading south. The haze was really ugly and it was hard to see across the bay into the Cape Henlopen part of Delaware. There was traffic heading into WWD but everyone was on the radio as we announced positions. I crossed midfield for a left down wind entry for two eight following a Cessna that we watched turn base to final. I made another sweet landing and taxied clear headed towards the terminal. I had two glasses of ice tea since I forgot to bring water today. Our light lunch completed we saddled back up for home.

As we took off from runway two eight we heard a helicopter make a call that he was overflying the area. I spotted the bird off at our nine o'clock and advised we had the traffic and were turning north to exit the area. The helicopter was passing behind us and low maybe five six hundred feet when eagle eyes Vince said it looked like an AH1 Cobra. I asked the pilot for a photo op since I had a CAP young man on board and the Cobra quickly climbed to our altitude. We thanked him for the chance to snap off a few, Vince really got a kick out of that. The rest of the flight was uneventful as Vince once again worked the radios and rang up Wilmington tower. We made our way for the right down wind runway one four and I ended on a blah landing. We taxied in, secured the plane and headed out. A fun day comes to an end with two hours of flying around south Jersey. I need to get the oil change scheduled before the Ohio trip next Saturday.

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